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Recipes --

-- by which is meant the things you should do to increase the rationality, quality and/or hygiene of your life:

1. Never pet a stray cat with a wet tail.

2. If you shave your head, be sure to shave your back too.

3. Eat properly.

Okay, maybe those first two aren't all that universally practical. But eating properly is always a good idea. Eat good meals. By meals, we mean meals of excellent nutrition. Not just food. Nutrition. Anything you can eat -- that is, anything you can fit into your mouth might be called food. Yuck. By meals, we also mean meals of an appropriate quantity. Never eat more than you can carry. Never swallow anything bigger than your head.

So. A truly excellent breakfast is a berry-fruit smoothie. Very easy, and superb nutrition. Take a handful (as it were) each of frozen blueberries, mixed raspberries, blackberries and strawberries, etc, cherries, mixed mango, pineapple and kiwi -- whatever is convenient -- and blend it with however much of water will give you the consistency you prefer. Add some protein powder, some coconut oil, some flax seed oil or Omega-3, some aloe vera juice, anything else you think is good. It's all to taste. A blender-full makes four or five glasses. One every few hours is ideal.

The ORAC value is off the charts (google "orac antioxidant"). Amazingly low in calories -- the oils bring it up, but they are essential too. Flax seed oil is a precursor to the Omega-3 EFAs (google "efa epa dha", or just look at Wikipedia). Coconut oil is indeed a saturated fat, but it's a medium chain fatty acid, which metabolizes more like a carb -- it has 7 rather than the usual 9 calories per gram of fat, and it's thermogenic (makes you burn more calories than it contributes), and, weirdly, it's highly antiviral. There are satiation receptors in the brain that monitor for fats, and by adding a small amount you'll help yourself figure out that you're not hungry.

Another meal, as often as you like, is a simple vegetable stew. Frozen broccoli, cauliflower, mixed peppers, corn and peas and green beans and string beans and carrots, and whatever else catches your eye at the store. Bring it to a boil, chop in a tomato and some extra-firm tofu or cooked free-range lean meat.

Pretty boring and not all that flavorful. So add seasonings. Apple cider vinegar (google it), a splash of extra-virgin olive oil, turmeric (anti-inflammatory), cayenne pepper (trust us, it's good for you ... but watch out, hot), cinnamon (weirdly, it increases your insulin receptivity -- a very good thing), basil, oregano, parsley, any other herbs or spices that catch your eye, and something called Bragg Liquid Aminos -- very savory and makes all the difference ... really tasty, at any healthfood store.

There's the hunger of an empty belly, which isn't hunger at all.  There's the hunger from an energy-depleted bloodsteam, no matter how much you eat, because of an insulin imbalance -- we'll look at that some other time. Then there's the hunger from not getting enough nutrients -- biochems that your body needs to build and repair itself. The standard American diet -- SAD -- is really good at causing high-calorie malnutrition. Empty calories.

Calories, from a responsible perspective, are not the defining characteristic of food. Nutrients are. It's the difference between eating, say, just sugar (ALL carbs break down into glucose) on the one hand, or (complex) veggies and fruits and berries, on the other. One will, eventually, make you sick and kill you. Literally. The other will bring optimal health. Empty calories, opposed to nutrient-dense calories.

There are plenty of easy-to-read books on intelligent nutrition. SuperFoods Rx, for example. Not moonbeam, not vegetarian. You don't have to be vegetarian. The point is, health is not magic. We build it, out of food. Health has to do with prudence. Food can kill you, and it can, really it can, make you well. Be moderate, which means be responsible. When you notice results, it gets easier. Then it becomes the only way to be.

At FitWorks, we focus on diet and exercise. We supervise the exercise, because we're right there. Diet is on you. It's like solitaire. You can cheat. Well ... go ahead. But play fair, too, most of the time. These are the compromises people have to make. It seems like a good thing to make as  few  as possible.

4. Never reply to an email from an exiled Nigerian bank president.

5. Be excellent.


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